NCAA OK’s on-field sponsor logos for regular-season football games

Starting this season, the NCAA will allow commercial sponsor advertisements on football fields for regular-season games in all three divisions, the organization announced on Thursday.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the recommendation from the Football Rules Committee. The rule allows for corporate advertisements to be placed in three spots on the field: A single advertisement centered on the 50-yard line, along with no more than two smaller flanking advertisements elsewhere on the field. It can be done on a game-by-game basis or for the entire season.

“I grew up in Syracuse, New York, so I was accustomed to the Carrier Dome, which is now the JMA Wireless Dome,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said last week at SEC Spring meetings in Destin, Fla. “So this is not new within the college sports enterprise. We’ve had clear lines, so it hasn’t been appearing on the field. I would anticipate there’s going to be a continuing push of those limits.”

The new rule will give schools an additional opportunity for revenue – which they are seeking more of following a landmark House v. NCAA settlement that will result in more than $2.7 billion of back damages and a new revenue-sharing model with athletes. The rule is also intended to align regular-season games in home stadiums with already-existing advertising allowances for postseason bowl games and neutral site games.

“This change allows schools to generate additional income to support student-athletes,” NCAA President Charlie Baker said in a prepared statement. “I’m pleased that we could find flexibility within our rules to make this happen for member schools.”

The rule change is supported by Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision conferences, as well as the Division I FBS Oversight and FCS Oversight Committees.

That doesn’t mean every school will implement it.

“We’re pretty traditional,” Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne said last week at SEC spring meetings. “One of the cool things I think is that Alabama doesn’t change their jerseys. We’re unique in that way. Never say never but we obviously are fairly conservative when it comes to what we do from anything like that.”


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